The Wackness

( 2 )

Overview

A psychiatrist Ben Kingsley is put into a moral quandary when a young drug dealer who's been supplying him with pot in exchange for clinical treatment ends up dating his daughter in this comedy from All the Boys Love Mandy Lane's writer/director Jonathan Levine. Josh Peck, Famke Janssen, Mary-Kate Olsen, and Method Man co-star in the Occupant Films production.
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Overview

A psychiatrist Ben Kingsley is put into a moral quandary when a young drug dealer who's been supplying him with pot in exchange for clinical treatment ends up dating his daughter in this comedy from All the Boys Love Mandy Lane's writer/director Jonathan Levine. Josh Peck, Famke Janssen, Mary-Kate Olsen, and Method Man co-star in the Occupant Films production.
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Special Features

Deleted scenes; Commentary with Josh Peck and director Jonathan Levine; Luke Shapiro's Dope Show; Keeping It Real: A Day in the Life of Jonathan Levine; Time in a Bottle: Behind-the-Scenes of the Wackness
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
For those confused by this film's title, "the wackness" is roughly the opposite of "the dopeness," according to Olivia Thirlby's Stephanie, who accuses Josh Peck's Luke of fixating on the ways the world is "wack." There's a lot that's wack here, or just plain out of whack, so The Wackness makes an appropriate title. The 2008 Sundance Audience Award winner is a curious creation; while some smart details and technique validate the affection of the Sundance crowd, the film is stricken with a meandering and underdeveloped narrative. But since it also tries to hit the emotional beats of a traditional storyline, there's a disconnect between its actual impact and its intended impact. It works slightly better as a character study. Not your stereotypical drug dealer, Luke doesn't partake, is like a rap-loving jock without the athletic skills, and has New York authenticity in spades. However, since Peck never makes him precisely more than the sum of character traits, it's hard to invest in his journey. Another challenge to that endeavor is his relationship with Stephanie, the apparently slumming popular girl who toys with Luke into blurry emotional territory. It's a contrived pairing offered merely for plot mechanics. At the same time, without their relationship, the film's literal shining moment -- a shower love scene split by sun beams -- wouldn't be possible. Without hyperbole, this ranks up there with the most sensuously filmed kissing scenes of all time, but it sticks out abruptly in a sea of uneven dramedy. Ben Kingsley's pot-smoking therapist may be the biggest contrivance of all, his scenes laden with labored schtick and trumped-up conflict -- though he's plenty fun to watch. Writer-director Jonathan Levine should have a promising future, but his fragmented skills need to coalesce first. The Wackness is more dope than wack, but just barely.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/6/2009
  • UPC: 043396292154
  • Original Release: 2008
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: A
  • Time: 1:39:00
  • Format: Blu-ray

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ben Kingsley Dr. Jeffrey Squires, Dr. Squires
Josh Peck Luke Shapiro
Famke Janssen Mrs. Squires
Olivia Thirlby Stephanie
Mary-Kate Olsen Union
Jane Adams Eleanor
Method Man Percy
Aaron Yoo Justin
Talia Balsam Mrs. Shapiro
David Wohl Mrs. Shapiro
Bob Dishy Grandpa Shapiro
Joanna Merlin Grandma Shapiro
Shannon Briggs Bodyguard #1
Roy Milton Davis Homeless Man
Technical Credits
Jonathan Levine Director, Screenwriter
Jim Black Musical Direction/Supervision
Keith Calder Producer
Michael Claney Costumes/Costume Designer
Joanna Colbert Casting
Paul Epstein Asst. Director
Ken Ishii Sound/Sound Designer
Petra Korner Cinematographer
Beth Kuhn Art Director
Felipe Marino Producer
Richard Mento Casting
Joe Neurauter Producer
Josh Noyes Editor
Annie Spitz Production Designer
David Torn Score Composer
Brian Udovich Co-producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Probably Could Have Survived In Theatres

    Aside from Ben Kingsley's spectatular performance, the acting in this film is decent. I recommend to rent this one! I am glad I watched it, but I doubt I ever watch it again. Josh Peck delivers, by far, his best performance yet in this. It's the closest thing he's done to convincing acting, and yes, I've seen Mean Creek. The movie is also much better if you just mentally delete Mary-Kate Olsen and her character from your memory. She cannot act anymore, and she absolutley cannot portray a druggie. Famke Janssen is alright; her performance here is similar to her part in The Faculty. <BR/>If nothing else, check this out for Ben Kingsley!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews